11-year-old girl set to be deported from Houston


HOUSTON – An 11-year-old Salvadorian girl is set to be deported from Houston after her family was apprehended and released at the U.S.-Mexico border, according to Immigrant Families and Students in the Struggle.

FIEL said members of the Maradiaga family arrived in the United States a little less than a year ago and they were released so they could continue fighting their credible fear case.

The family has shown up for every court case and has done its due diligence to make sure it remains in compliance, FIEL said.

Earlier this year, one of the family's court dates was rescheduled due to the government shutdown and when family members showed up for their next court date, in March, 11-year-old Laura wasn't on the docket, FIEL said.

Later in March, the family received a letter, but was not able to understand what it said due to a language barrier, according to FIEL.

When the family members arrived for another court date in early April, they found out Laura had been ordered to be deported, FIEL said.

"We are appalled by the fact that immigration (officials) would make such a big mistake. Eleven-year-old Laura has no direct family in El Salvador and if deported she would be deported back to a country that she doesn't know and could not navigate," FIEL Executive Director Cesar Espinosa said. "She would also be deported to face a very probable death at the hands of the violent gangs in El Slavador, which was the main reason why Laura's family left in the first place. We hope we may be able to rectify this so that this family will not be separated and little Laura would be left to fend for herself. We are providing the family legal counsel and will help them throughout this arduous process."